The Offence 1972 ****

As part of his deal to star in Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery managed to get Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of John Hopkins play off the ground, and it showcases arguably a career best performance from the Fountainbridge milkman turned actor. As driven policeman Jonson, Connery gives a powerhouse portrait of obsession as he questions suspected child-molester (Ian Bannen) under the watch of Superintendent Cartwright (Trevor Howard). The offence has an intense conceit, and plays cleverly with notions of guilt, and the coverage of the pedophilia plot is sensible and responsible. Bannen and Connery’s game of cat-and-mouse is beautifully played, and while undeniably talky, The Offence is a treat for lovers of thoughtful, meaty cinema.


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